I have just learnt that young DAP leaders had met Lam Thye before the 1990 general election to ask him to contest elsewhere instead of in Bukit Bintang, but these suggestions were not on behalf of the party leadership

I have just learnt that young DAP leaders had met Lee Lam Thye before the 1990 general election to ask him to contest elsewhere instead of in Bukit Bintang but these suggestions were not made on behalf of the party leadership.

It is regrettable that Lam Thye has maintained his lie that I had asked him to contest elsewhere apart from Bukit Bintang, when this was not the case.

A check with my website will show the following media statements:

26.9.90 – “I have absolute confidence and faith that Lam Thye’s resignation as DAP FT Chairman is not because he is considering joining another political party”

27.9.90 – “Tan Kok Wai being called up to explain the FT DAP situation”

28.9.90 – “Directive to all DAP officials and members not to make any comments on the matter of Lam Thye’s resignation to allow the situation to cool off” where I said:

“I have met Sdr. Lam Thye four times on his resignation as DAP Federal Territory chairman. I remain optimistic that a solution could be found to the problem, especially after a five-day cooling – off period.”

On 29th Sept. 1990, exactly seven days before the dissolution of Parliament, Lam Thye announced his retirement from politics and went overseas to make himself incommunicado.

On 30th Sept. 1990, there were two DAP functions, morning in Seremban and at night in Batu Pahat.

In the former I said: “However slim the chances, I will not give up in my endeavour to persuade Lam Thye to change his mind to retire from politics” and in the latter I said: “Lam Thye’s political retirement is a major setback for the DAP and the struggle to bring about the two-coalition system in Malaysia”.

But Lam Thye’s resignation were overtaken by events a week later when on Oct 5, 1990 Parliament was dissolved for the eighth general election to be held on Oct. 21, 1990.

In retrospect, I believe Lam Thye knew that Parliament was to be dissolved in a week’s time and he made himself incommunicado by going overseas.

I said yesterday that Lam Thye’s announcement of retirement from politics came in the turbulent month of September 1990, when 10,000 people demonstrated against the Cheras tolls issue; Tan Kok Wai, the DAP MP for Sungai Besi was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and Lam Thye’s walkout of the DAP Federal Territory meeting on the Cheras tolls issue and subsequent resignation as DAP Federal Territory Chairman.

I was then acting as a mediator between Lam Thye and the DAP FT Committee as he was convinced that he was the target of an “insidious campaign” within the FT DAP involving certain FT DAP leaders, and there was no discussion of Lam Thye not contesting in Bukit Bintang. In fact, at one stage, I was considering fielding Tan Kok Wai outside Kuala Lumpur and not in Cheras.

Furthermore, if It is true that I had told Lam Thye that he was not to be nominated for Bukit Bintang constituency, it would be impossible to keep the news under wrap for 32 years – inside and outside the DAP!

MP FOR ISKANDAR PUTERI
Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah on Sunday, 19th June 2022